It was a great day at Cheltenham last Saturday, all that was missing was a winning wager!
Over the day I met up with friends old and new, and discussed a potential new branch for the blog - more of that when the thought develops into reality.
I will be honest, I think today's cards are fairly poor for a Saturday in November, and that is almost certainly due to the lack of rain around the country. There are quite a few of my alert list horses running today, and I will pass on those that I think have a decent chance: but first the feature race of the day - The Betfair Chase at Haydock.
Just 7-runners go to post as Next Destination is a non-runner. This looks a weak renewal, and I think if Bristol De Mai wins then while that result may bring a few tears, it will demonstrate how weak the race is. We have a couple of dodgy 3-milers in Imperial Aura and Waiting Patiently, and I do not expect either of them to win this, and Chatham Street Lad is outclassed. Clondaw Castle was well exposed at Aintree in April, and looked no better in the Charlie Hall Chase 3-weeks ago. Now while I do not expect Bristol De Mai to win today, he will run his usual race; so a +160 performance will be needed to win this, and there are only 2 horses in this race capable of doing that over this trip: A Plus Tard and Royale Pagaille.
A Plus Tard ran 2nd in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, so he is (on form) the best horse in this race - but he's ran well below his best on his seasonal reappearance for the last 3 seasons, so why will he be different today when his ultimate target is not this race, but the Gold Cup in March? That leaves C&D winner Royal Pagaille, who is 3-months younger than APT and at 7yo is the youngest in this race. It is a "punt" but all Royale Pagaille has to do is have improved 7lb over the summer and he is bang in there. Ignore his Gold Cup effort, the ground was far too quick for him and his jumping fell to pieces. I'm on at 8/1.
Earlier in the card, I have a soft spot for Jersey Bean who runs in the 12:40pm over 3m4f. This sort of trip is up his street and being a prominent runner, he's going to be in control of the pace.
At Ascot, there is only one horse that I'm interested in: Defi Du Seuil - can he make a comeback? If he is anywhere near his best (and I mean within 10lb) then he will win this race. If he can't win this, then there really is no future for him and maybe a switch to hurdles is required.
That's it from me for today:
Haydock 12:40pm JERSEY BEAN - £5 eachway @ 9/1 (5th odds a place 1,2,3,4 PaddyPower)
Haydock 3:00pm ROYALE PAGAILLE - £10 win @ 9/1 (PaddyPower)
Ascot 2:05pm DEFI DU SEUIL - £5 win @ 100/30 (PaddyPower)
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